ARNOT-ROBERTS - Napa Valley
Childhood friends Duncan Arnot-Meyers and Nathan Roberts founded their Sonoma winery in 2001. Beginning with one barrel of wine made in their basement, the winery started small and grew slowly by sourcing grapes from some of the most renowned vineyards in California. Initially their focus was just on making great Californian wines, but when the cool 2005 vintage gave them wines in a more leaner, austere and high acid style than the region was used to, Arnot-Roberts reacted completely differently to practically everyone else in region - instead of continuing to make wines in an opulent and super-ripe fashion, they decided to pursue lower ripeness and higher acidity in all their wines.
Today after nearly 20 years in the game, they are dedicated to finding super distinct and unique sites from Mendocino in the north to the Santa Cruz Mountains in the south and continue to make wines that are above all balanced, refined and elegant with a deep sense of Californian terroir.
Case Selection includes:
Ribolla Gialla Vare Vineyard 2017
Ribolla Gialla is alive and well in the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley thanks to George Vare who fell in love with this varietal in the early 90’s while traveling in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy, and committed to bringing it home to California. Arnot-Roberts make it into a rich, ample and layered wine with tremendous depth and textural resonance. Pear, chamomile, spice and almond are some of the many flavors that build in the glass.
Chardonnay Watson Ranch 2018
A very atypical style of Chardonnay sourced from the southernmost vineyard in Napa Valley, often tapped as a source for sparkling wines. Fermented in stainless steel and aged for 10 months in neutral French oak. It’s clean and focused, showing jasmine, green melon, lemon and green apple, that lead to a taught and structured palate. Approachable now but cellar for a couple of years for a touch more richness to develop.
Chardonnay Trout Gulch 2018
Sourced from a single vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 2018 Trout Gulch is a lovely expression of cool-climate Chardonnay which bristles with energy and tension. Nuanced and graceful the 2018 shows citrus, dried flowers, mint, sage and orchard fruit framed by laser-like acidity.
Gamay Noir El Dorado 2019
Sourced from two vineyards in El Dorado County and made in the Beaujolais style, where grapes undergo carbonic maceration that results in a fresh, fruity and energetic wine. Aged in a mix of neutral oak and stainless steel before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Loaded with fresh red fruit flavors of cherry, raspberry and plum, the svelte body derives its structure and texture not from tannin but from acidity. A refreshing, light-hearted red to drink pool-side, lightly chilled.
Trousseau North Coast 2019
Originating from the Jura in eastern France, Trousseau has been making a foothold in the cooler parts of the north coast over the past twenty years. Don’t let the pale hue fool you as this Trousseau shows pronounced sweet dried, orange peel, spice, cedar and rose petal. Exotic and beguiling to enjoy now and over the next couple of years.
Pinot Noir Heaven and Earth Vineyard 2019
The Heaven and Earth vineyard emerges from a new site for Arnot-Roberts in Occidental, to produce a pure and expressive pinot with lovely aromatic lift from whole cluster fermentation. Black cherry, plum, sweet spice, leather and lavender bring out the darker characteristics of pinot fruit, while the ripe, fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity make this approachable now but will age nicely over the next five years.